James L. Stone

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James L. Stone
James Stone MOH 2010.jpg
Stone in 2010
Birth name James Lamar Stone
Born (1922-12-27)December 27, 1922
Pine Bluff, Arkansas
Died November 9, 2012(2012-11-09) (aged 89)
Arlington, Texas
Place of burial Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1948 - 1980
Rank Colonel
Unit 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division
Battles/wars Korean War
Vietnam War
Awards Medal of Honor
Silver Star
Bronze Star
Purple Heart

James Lamar Stone (December 27, 1922 – November 9, 2012) was a United States Army officer and a recipient of America's highest military decoration—the Medal of Honor—for his actions in the Korean War. He was awarded the medal for his conspicuous leadership during a fight against overwhelming odds, for continuing to lead after being wounded, and for choosing to stay behind after ordering others to retreat, a decision which led to his capture by Chinese forces.

Military service[edit]

Stone joined the Army from Houston, Texas, in 1948, and by November 21, 1951 was serving as a first lieutenant in Company E of the 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division. On that morning, Stone's platoon relieved another American unit that was manning a hilltop outpost above the Imjin River near Sokkogae, Korea (now South Korea).

At about 9:00 pm, Chinese forces launched an artillery and mortar attack against the outpost, followed by a series of infantry assaults. Stone led his platoon's defense against the battalion-sized force. Just after midnight, a second battalion joined the Chinese assault, pitting Stone's 48-man platoon against roughly 800 enemy soldiers. Wounded three times during the battle, Stone continued to lead his men and fight, including in hand-to-hand combat. Realizing the defense was hopeless, Stone ordered those men who could still walk to leave and rejoin the rest of Company E, while he stayed behind with the badly wounded to cover their retreat. Stone eventually lost consciousness and, just before dawn on November 22, he and the six remaining men of his platoon were captured by Chinese forces.

After regaining consciousness, Stone was interrogated by the Chinese before being sent to a prison camp on the Yalu River. After 22 months of captivity, he was released in a prisoner exchange on September 3, 1953. Upon his liberation, Stone learned that he was to receive the Medal of Honor for his actions during the battle near Sokkogae.

Stone's Medal of Honor was officially approved on October 20, 1953 and presented to him a week later. At a ceremony in the White House on October 27, President Dwight Eisenhower presented Medals of Honor to Stone and six others.

Stone reached the rank of colonel and served in the Vietnam War before retiring from the Army in 1980.

Medal of Honor citation[edit]

Stone receives the Medal of Honor from President Eisenhowser

First Lieutenant Stone's official Medal of Honor citation reads:

1st Lt. Stone, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and indomitable courage above and beyond the call of duty in action against the enemy. When his platoon, holding a vital outpost position, was attacked by overwhelming Chinese forces, 1st Lt. Stone stood erect and exposed to the terrific enemy fire calmly directed his men in the defense. A defensive flame-thrower failing to function, he personally moved to its location, further exposing himself, and personally repaired the weapon. Throughout a second attack, 1st Lt. Stone; though painfully wounded, personally carried the only remaining light machine gun from place to place in the position in order to bring fire upon the Chinese advancing from 2 directions. Throughout he continued to encourage and direct his depleted platoon in its hopeless defense. Although again wounded, he continued the fight with his carbine, still exposing himself as an example to his men. When this final overwhelming assault swept over the platoon's position his voice could still be heard faintly urging his men to carry on, until he lost consciousness. Only because of this officer's driving spirit and heroic action was the platoon emboldened to make its brave but hopeless last ditch stand.[1]

Death[edit]

Stone died in November 2012 at Arlington, Texas, aged 89.[2]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ ""JAMES L. STONE" entry". Medal of Honor recipients: Korean War. United States Army Center of Military History. June 8, 2009. Retrieved 2007-12-30. 
  2. ^ "Medal of Honor Recipient James L. Stone Passes Away at 89". PRNewswire. Retrieved November 10, 2012. 

References[edit]

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Army Center of Military History.